Opatija is today called “The Croatian Monte Carlo” because of its high class hotels, casinos and rich clientele that are gathering here every year to enjoy luxury amenities. The city is also visited because of its rich cultural heritage and wonderful climate conditions that are enhanced by the nearby Učka Mountain. First notable events for Opatija started at the end of 19th century when the city was visited by Austro-Hungarian nobility, including Franz Joseph 1st. As many towns on the Adriatic coasts, the city offers numerous activities that will complement your journey experience. Summertime brings the new spirit in the city because of the outdoor theater, summer festivals and other outdoor events. Very often, Opatija is the first step towards discovering of Istria. This itinerary page will move you closer to this region so you can reveal its charm and loveliness
While sightseeing Opatija’s center, don’t forget to visit the famous walking trail of Franz Joseph 1. or a popular Lungomare. It serves not only as a prodigious viewpoint of the Adriatic Sea, it is also a great connection to nearby places Volovsko, Ičići, Ika and Lovran. The most famous monuments and sites in Opatija are located just by the walking trail. So, prepare your legs and open your eyes widely to see local wonders of the city.
On your way, you will see Park and villa Angliona, a place which was proclaimed a preserved monument of park architecture in 1968. According to the last list from 2006. there are 124 types of plants in the park. The conception and the layout of the park didn’t change since 1930’s. Just like 80-90 years ago, you can walk by the buildings which are made with stylistic features of historicism and inhale a variety of scents that are emitting from the plant spots around you. In the park, there is also museum of Croatian tourism where you can observe how the tourism looked in Opatija and on the whole Kvarner. You will see many sketches and documents that cover the topic of “bathing architecture” or how the beaches and bathing places looked like 120-140 years ago.
If you head towards the southwest of the park, you will see one of the symbols of Opatija and the whole Kvarner: The statue of the maiden with the seagull. Opatija’s newcomers who are arriving to the city for the first time are often greeted by this majestic statue. A real experience is to see the Maiden in the night when it is reflected by special lights or when the sea is ferociously splashing so it looks like the maiden rises from the sea. You can see the original statue that was removed in 1950’s by the church of St. James. Near the St. James’s park, there is a church of the same name. The story of Opatija is closely related to this church and its monastery. The city itself got its name after this opatija (opatija means abbey in Croatian language). Catch a right moment so you can attend chamber concerts that are held inside.
There is a village that could steal your attention: Mošćenićka Draga. Tourists come here to enjoy one of the neatly furnished hotels and to walk between the divine blue sea and fragrant, vibrant forest that is located just a few steps from the walking path. Close to the center, village of Volovsko is located. It is the focal point to all those who want to have a pleasant sunbath while walking the narrow, crooked streets and have a delicious meal in one of the renowned restaurant. Spend a moment to step on the shore and gaze towards the south to see the unique visage of the sea.